pages by usher tm Updated: 28.Jan.2004


by Michael Melosh

"Did you lose someone on September 11th?"

As a citizen of the United States of America and the world at large I lost around 3000 loved ones.

"Don't you just hate them for what they did?"

Does what they did make me angry? Yes. Do I hate them for doing it? No.
Hating them would lead me to do things I do not want to do. It saddens me that they think that this and other methods of terrorism are the only way to get through to the "western" world. When acts of terrorism occur, people don't get the message that the terrorist may believe they are saying. People see the horror, the destruction, feel pains of loss, rage, revenge and often act on those feelings causing more loss and destruction. It happens every day in Israel when a Palestinian blows himself up in a shopping center or discotheque injuring or killing many Israelis. Do the Israeli cower and jump to do the bidding of the terrorists? No. They attack the Palestinians without regard to their involvement in the prior attack killing more of them than Israelis were lost. Do they actually hate each other? A few might, but most Israelis and Palestinians would more gladly live peacefully beside eachother without all the bloodshed. This region has been in conflict for thousands of years and Northern Ireland for hundreds. A resolution will not be worked out over night just as the problem did not develop overnight. At the current pace one side will be wiped off the face of the earth and their side never heard, forever.

Odd as it may seem, the skyline of New York City does not look wrong to me without the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Having been born in 1971, they had dominated the skyline all of my life, until last September. Had the TransAmerica Pyramid gone from San Francisco, the Washington Monument or Capitol building from Washington D.C. or the Space Needle from Seattle or the 5th/3rd-PNC Bank building from Cincinnati or the St. Louis Arch disappeared from the skylines, it would look wierd to me. Some of these places I've never been to as I had never been to NYC, but I think it would affect me more.

The support people and countries have shown for eachother since the morning of September 11th, 2001, has renewed my faith in mankind and our ability to overcome anything we can do to ourselves short of total annihilation. I did not and still do not understand the jubilant celebrating in the streets in parts of the world. That kind of action is frowned upon or banned outright by the seven largest religions in the world and goes against basic humanity.

"What are you afraid of?"

I have never been afraid to fly. I love flying, I just can't afford it. So I take the much more dangerous form of travel: automobile.
After falling from a third floor balcony in 1998, I've been leery of heights, but I've been getting over it bit by bit. For several months I couldn't go near a ledge with a high railing and now I can look off a large cliff or mountain side without one.
Many years after having my apartment was broken into and robbed while my wife and I were out grocery shopping, I still worry about my safety in my own home.

Written: 11.March.2002

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